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Wave of Attacks Across Iraq; Pres. Obama Plans Iraq Address; Miners Could Be Trapped for Months; Food Hard to Obtain in Some New Orleans Areas; Museum Theft Caught on Tape; Burglars? There's An App For That!
Aired August 25, 2010 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN HOST: You're in the SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, hundreds of casualties in a shocking wave of attacks all across Iraq as the U.S. winds down its combat role, militants make a bloody statement. We're going to take you to Baghdad into Ft. Hood, Texas, where more Americans are ready to deploy.
And 33 miners trapped deep underground for months to come. You're going the hear the emotional letter sent to relatives waiting on the surface.
And imagine, calling up your home surveillance system on your smartphone only to watch helplessly as burglars trash your house.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux, and you're in the SITUATION ROOM.
Just as the U.S. completed its drawdown of combat brigades, militants today launched a stunning wave of bombings all across Iraq. From suicide bombers to car bombs to roadside bombs, the attacks took place in 13 cities, killing 4 dozen people and wounding close to 300 others. The U.S. military says extremists were out to make a violent statement. Our CNN's Ed Lavandera is standing by with U.S. forces that are ready to deploy to Iraq.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Suzanne. We're in a gymnasium here in Ft. Hood, Texas. Behind me, you see about 200 soldiers from the third armored cavalry regiment that are about to deploy when this new role of advise and assist. And what's interesting is we've gone around the room here this afternoon speaking with soldiers saying their final good-byes here to family members and friends that you will hear over and over again.
Even though that they're travelling there under a new mission, this advise and assist, what you hear over and over again from these soldiers, many of them who are making their second, third or even fourth deployment to Iraq, they're not taking anything for granted. They don't see the advice and assist role as any different from being in a combat situation. Just as dangerous, and they know that this year-long deployment that they will be heading into Iraq to can be as dangerous as the previous missions they've done there. So, that's what we're hearing over and over from the soldiers. And they're just moments away from filing away from saying their final good-byes to loved ones here, Suzanne, as they board the buses and in a few hours, they will be wheels up on a plane headed to Iraq -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Is there a sense of anxiety in the soldiers learning about what has taken place this afternoon, that the violence is still, you know, out there, and that they could be in harm's way?
LAVANDERA: You know, many of the soldiers have seen that before in their previous deployments so they expect more of the same. But quite frankly, today, really, has been a day when they're focusing on their family members and not paying a whole lot of attention to the news of today, if you will, but here in this final minutes, in this final moments with their family members, much more focused on that, but what they've told us is, look, we're not taking anything for granted.
You might call this our new mission as being an advice and assist role for the Iraqi forces, but that doesn't mean it won't be any less dangerous.
MALVEAUX: OK. Ed, thank you so much. I want to go to Arwa Damon who's in Baghdad. Arwa, if you can hear me, what is the staggering violence today mean? What kind of message do you think this sends?
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, 13 cities were targeted, and that is quite disturbing, because some of these areas were believed to be relatively safe. Most certainly, it's a clear indication to the Iraqi public that we've been talking to the perhaps Iraqi security forces are not ready to protect them if at the end of the day, they cannot protect themselves.
These attacks do appear to be coordinated. At this stage, we do not have a claim of responsibility, but the last time we saw this type of violence, these types of attacks was back in May, and al Qaeda had taken responsibility for them, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Can you give us a sense of the mood there, the tone, and what people there are saying?
DAMON: You know, it's fairly grim. People that we were out talking to just a few hours ago are angry. They're frustrated. Quite frankly, there's very little hope. There is mixed opinion about the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces, about whether or not the U.S. military should have drawn down at this point in time.
Some people say that the Iraqi forces need that strong hand on top of them to make sure that they actually do the job right. Others are just in such a state of despair that they say, look it doesn't matter if the Americans are here or not, we're still living violence.
MALVEAUX: And Arwa, what is the difference between combat troops, U.S. combat troops, and those who are there to advise and assist?
DAMON: Look, it's important to note that when the U.S. shifts to this "Operation New Dawn," to this new advise and assist mission, they're not changing incapabilities. Combat troops are not going to be transformed overnight into peacemakers nor they going to be able to cast aside their flak jackets or their guns.
In that sense, these advise and assist units are still made up of combat troops. They will still be on high alert when they go outside, when they go off of their bases. The difference is that this time, their mission is going to be mainly focused on training up the Iraqi security forces. That being said, they're still going to be conducting counterinsurgency operations. This still very much does remain a war zone, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Arwa Damon, be safe. Thank you so much.
President Barack Obama will deliver an address on Iraq from the oval office next Tuesday night. Now, the speech is timed to coincide with the official end of the military's combat mission in Iraq. Now, the White House says that the prime time speech is also going to touch on Afghanistan, the broader war on terrorism, and the president is very likely to visit a military base Tuesday before he addresses the nation.
Our Jack Cafferty is next with the "Cafferty File."
And then fighting al Qaeda in Yemen. Is the U.S. now considering military strikes? We're going to talk about it with national security contributor, Fran Townsend.
Also, a message from one of the men trapped in that mine in Chile. His emotional letter to his wife as he faces the prospect of waiting months to be rescued.
And five years after Katrina, life is still extraordinarily hard for some New Orleans' resident. We're going show you what they have to go through just to get fresh food.
MALVEAUX: Jack Cafferty is here with the "Cafferty File." Hey, Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, multitasking is a way of life for millions of Americans, and to many, it seems like the more technology we can squeeze into every waking moment, the better. Not to me, but to many, and maybe not. "The New York Times" reports digital devices and distractions from cell phone to laptops, iPods, e- mail and mobile games could deprive our brains of necessary downtime.
People use phones and other electronic devices to get work done almost anywhere these days, the gym, the grocery store checkout line, the bus stop or stoplight, or while driving down the road. Many see it is a way to make even the smallest window of time productive or entertaining, but researchers say that down time is essential. It's a way to let our brains go over our experiences and turn them into long-term memories, and you can't do that if your nose is always stuck in some electronic device. Science has also say even though people like multitasking, they might find it to be taxing their brains and tiring themselves out. Some people say they feel stressed out by the pressure to constantly stay in contact. Not me.
Meanwhile, there is a new study out that shows teens are becoming addicted to texting. The average teenager sends 3,000 texts a month. 3,000. That is patently absurd. Experts say the same part of brain is stimulated with both texting and using drugs like heroin. Signs of being addicted to texting include losing track of time, not eating or sleeping, ignoring other people, or lying because of texting and always needing to receive more texts.
So, here's the question -- is too much technology a bad thing? Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog. You do all of that stuff, right? Texting and multitasking?
MALVEAUX: I want to post a comment on your blog here, Jack. I'm going to tweet you about how I feel about all this, OK? See if you get it.
CAFFERTY: Be gentle.
MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Jack.
A major shift in America's counterterrorism strategy may be in the works. The Obama administration is considering adding military assets to the fight against al Qaeda in Yemen. A counterterrorism official tells CNN that the group has shown they can attack there and in the United States saying, and all options are under review. The official notes al Qaeda in Yemen is not feeling the same kind of heat that's being put on the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Now, joining me now is CNN national security contributor, Fran Townsend. Fran is also an external board adviser to both the CIA and the homeland security department. Fran, thank you for joining us. Specifically, what can United States do militarily to go after al Qaeda in Yemen?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, FORMER BUSH HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: Sure. Suzanne, I actually think it's important that we start by saying it shouldn't be merely or only a military response. After all, this is not uniquely an American problem. We face a very direct threat, but Yemen now poses a threat to its regional allies, those other countries in the Gulf.
And so in addition to the military, we got to work regionally and the administration is as did the prior administration with the Saudis, for example, really worry about crossing into their borders and attacking Saudi's interests, but it was people crossing the Yemeni Saudi border that attacked our consulate, the U.S. consulate there. And so, you have to work with your allies and then U.S. military we know from the public reports is training Yemeni forces in the counterterrorism fight, and then finally, you got the sort of what we call the hard aspect of the war on terror.
And that is the use of military resources, but not necessarily boots on the ground. I mean, I think what most people in the counterterrorism community are looking for is the authority for greater use of predator. You know, we've heard
MALVEAUX: Predator drone?
TOWNSEND: Predator drones. They use them in the tribal areas and you got the real impression from the comments by the unnamed counterterrorism official that what they're talking about when they say they're not feeling the heat in Yemen like they're feeling it in the tribal areas is the use of the predator. That's what they need to do preferably in coordination and cooperation with the Yemeni government, but the Yemeni government has not always been a reliable ally.
MALVEAUX: What will the predator drone be able to do?
TOWNSEND: Well, it was used once after 9/11 to target an individual in a remote area. The problem right now is an individual like Al Awlaki who understands the United States and U.S. capabilities, we find that those sorts of individuals are in settled areas, and that's very difficult to use that tool, the predator drone tool in a settled area.
And so, you really need your allies to help you in terms of targeting whether that's to lure people out of settled areas or to have the capability to go in themselves and root them out in cities.
MALVEAUX: Tell us about the individual, the suspect who was part of the airline Christmas attempted bombing. He was part of al Qaeda in Yemen --
MALVEAUX: He was taken into custody and supposedly cooperating with U.S. officials. Is that information leading to some of the new information that we're getting out of al Qaeda in Yemen?
TOWNSEND: I imagine al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula which encompasses both the al Qaeda assets and Yemen and Saudi Arabia throughout the gulf, no question that that's helpful. But what happen is the minute he's picked up and it becomes public, those people, those plots begin to shift. So it becomes harder to use that information to target them directly.
But intelligence officials still are able to learn from the information they get from a suspect like Abdulmutallab in terms of what al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsulas priorities are, what their capabilities are, but it's perishable you know. That information is only good for a short amount of time. MALVEAUX: I want to turn to the WikiLeaks. They published again some documents from the CIA, some papers, I read these papers that posed the question, what would happen if the rest of the world believed that the United States was exporting terrorism to other foreign countries, what would be the repercussions for us? How damaging are these papers now that they've been released and out there? What do we believe this means?
TOWNSEND: Well, you know, look, the release of any classified documents and intelligence community assessments is always damaging and always has effects, because we tell our enemies what we're thinking about and how we think about. They may learn something that you prefer them not to understand. That said, of the many things that were leaked the red cell reports --
MALVEAUX: What's the red cell report?
TOWNSEND: The red cell report is the thing that WikiLeaks posted today that talked about, you know, what are the repercussions of if we're perceived as exporting terror. All the examples used, it was quite interesting as you read the details of this leaked report, all the examples they use of the export of terror are really foreign terrorist groups who have recruited Americans who leave the United States to join up with these foreign terror groups.
Not just in the Middle East, but they also talk about Irish terrorist groups, and so, I don't think anybody is ever going to perceive people being recruited by a foreign group as the U.S. export of terrorism. I didn't think it was a very well-written analysis. I didn't think it was a very helpful report. I think this one is really not very important.
MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you very much, Fran. Appreciate it.
A taxi driver brutally stabbed. Was it because he's Muslim? Details of a disturbing case police are investigating as a hate crime.
Plus, the heart wrenching wait for the families of 33 men trapped deep inside a mine in Chile. Their ordeal could last until Christmas.
MALVEAUX: The son of former vice president Dan Quayle is a big step closer to coming to Washington, himself, despite a good bit of controversy. Republican Ben Quayle won a wild ten-candidate congressional primary in Arizona. He built his campaign on harsh criticism of President Obama, and just a short while ago, he restated that criticism. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN QUAYLE (R) ARIZONA CONG. CANDIDATE: Everybody, thank you all for coming out here today. It's been a long primary and we are really excited about the, how the events unfolded. And I really just have about eight words to share with you, and that is Barack Obama is the worst president in history. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: We want to go live to our CNN national correspondent, Jessica Yellin, and Jessica, you were there. What happened?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he came out. They announced today that he was going to take press questions, because he got criticized a bit because he showed up last night after his victory at an event, spoke, and refused to answer any questions. So, I guess, they wanted to make it clear, he'll come out and answer the public.
He was there with his father, former Vice President Dan Quayle and his mother, Marilyn, and his wife by his side. He said that the counterattack begins today. Thanked his supporters and I did ask him what in his view makes President Obama worse than for example Ulysses as Grant who had a scandal-plagued presidency. He just went into his familiar criticisms of this president.
He was also asked a lot about some of the missteps he made during the campaign and the media criticism. He had lodged a lot of criticism himself of the media saying we've been unfair to him, so I asked in what way were we unfair? Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUAYLE: No, I think that the media is doing its job and is trying to have level of scrutiny. I have had a good level of scrutiny, and I've taken it in stride. You know, that's part of the back and forth in the political campaign. So, we'll continue to go, continue to answer questions and see where it takes us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: Some of the other reporters, local reporters, did follow up with some of the questions about whether or not he did or didn't write for a questionably raunchy website. He avoided answering those questions and said he's focused on the general election. Suzanne, he's in a very Republican district. So, he does seem to have the advantage going into the general election.
MALVEAUX: And Jessica, I'm curious and I don't know if you notice, but did he distance himself from his father and the reputation of his father or did he embrace him during his campaign?
YELLIN: He absolutely embraced his father. In fact, he posted on his web page, when I say he criticized the media for some of the exposes and the writings on him, he said, I'm familiar with this, because people went after my dad in the same way. And then Dan Quayle also came out and spoke to the media saying he's never seen such harsh attacks on his son.
Again, his father was with him today. I tried to speak to Dan Quayle, but he refused to talk on camera. So, no, very close embrace there. MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Jessica. If anybody is going to go after him, you are. So, Dan Quayle might be next. All right. Thanks again.
Kate Bolduan is monitoring some of the other top stories that are coming into the SITUATION ROOM right now. Hey, Kate, what are you working on
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Suzanne.
A 21-year-old man is facing attempted murder and hate crime charges for allegedly stabbing a Muslim taxi driver in New York City. A driver's union official tell CNN the man apparently intoxicated was initially friendly and talkative with the driver asking if he was a Muslim, then suddenly grew enrage and slashed the man's throat, arms and hand. The driver who is now on stable condition was able to escape and flag down police who arrested the suspect.
And the storm called Frank is being blamed for four deaths in Mexico's Wahaca (ph) State. Its heavy rain triggered mud slides that led to multiple highway accidents. They also triggered flooding and brought high winds that have impacted as many as 30,000 people. Frank is now a hurricane and moving west-northwest in the pacific with no immediate threat to land.
And Google is launching a direct challenge to Skype. Gmail users will still have the option to make phone calls over the internet. The company says the service will be free within the U.S. and Canada through the end of the year with calls to part of Europe and Asia costing two cents a minute. Gmail users will see the service rolled out over the next few days. So, Suzanne, earlier you said you're just getting up to speed with all the technology and here's another one to fall in your lap.
MALVEAUX: It's another one. All right. Thanks, Kate. I'll try to keep up with all of this.
The world's most famous amphibian is joining the Smithsonian's permanent collection again. This is the original Kermit the Frog, you got to love Kermit, introduced in 1955 on a children's show "Sam and Friends" here in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERMIT THE FROG: I'm taking a course in visual thinking. It teaches you how to visualize your thoughts. Watch. Q, you see that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man you're just a beginner. I'm an old hand at this stuff. Watch.
KERMIT THE FROG: Hey, a real watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: A 1970s version of Kermit also sits in the permanent collection, but the original Kermit wasn't really a frog. He was more a lizard-like creature with ping-pong ball eyes made from a green felt coat that was discarded by the mother of Muppet creator, Jim Henson. Kermit was donated long with nine other "Sam and Friends" characters by the Henson family. You got to love Kermit.
Well, from 2,000 feet below ground, a trapped miner sent an emotional letter to relatives waiting on the surface. He and other miners may not see their loved ones for months.
And it once was sunken treasure. Now, it's vanished treasure. The theft of a gold bar from a museum display case has police baffled.
Plus, a big-spending billionaire. Did he buy himself a primary win and can he make it pay off in November?
MALVEAUX: They've been trapped deep underground for nearly three weeks, and it may be months before those 33 miners can be rescued. They're confined to a small chamber in a collapsed mine, and right now, the focus is on the miners' physical and mental health. Our CNN's Karl Penhaul. He is at the San Jose mine in the Northern Chile. Karl, give us the update. How are things going there? How are they holding up?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN VIDEO CORRESPONDENT: Well, psychological teams are in place to look after the mental health of these miners, and at the same time, on the physical side, then doctors have already begun sending down liquid nutrients and liquid vitamins in very small tubes about 4 inches in diameter down to the miners.
But here on the surface, of course, it's the families. The families have to wait. It's the families who have to worry. They're getting sporadic news by letters sent from the bowels of the earth.
PENHAUL (voice-over): From the bowels of the earth, this message from a miner to his wife to say against all the odds, he was still alive.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
PENHAUL: Dear Leila (ph), I'm OK, thanks to God. I hope to get out soon. Be patient, have faith. God is great. We will make it out. He writes
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
PENHAUL: Give a lot of kisses to my daughters and my grandchildren. I love them. Stay calm. And to you, with all my love, I love you so much, and we will be happy forever with our family. We will see one another again soon. Goodbye, my darling. A kiss. Mario.
At 63, Mario Gomez is the most experienced of the 33 miners in Northern Chile. His note was almost shredded as it came to the surface taped to the probe rescuers were using to try and locate the missing men. Authorities had feared the miners were surely dead.
PENHAUL (on-camera): Up on this barren hillside, relatives have planted a flag for each of the miners trapped underground: 32 Chilean flags, one Bolivian flag. And as long as it takes, the Chilean government is vowing to bring each one of them home alive.
(voice-over): As day fades, the families stoke the fires in the camp where they've been living since the cave-in and wave good-bye to some of the workers that have helped in the rescue effort. It may still take time, but they now seem sure they will get their happy ending.
MALVEAUX: Karl, what do you know about the health of these miners?
PENHAUL: Well, according to the health minister, I had a word with him today, and he said that three or four of the miners are in pretty poor mental health. He says that they're not sleeping. He says that they are claustrophobic and very anxious about the wait that they've had in the wait that may lie ahead.
Now, in terms of the physical shape these men are in, most of them are doing reasonably well, but there's one concern right now for the doctors and men. That is that, according to the medical records at least nine of the men are overweight. Essentially, their bellies are too big. They're too stout to get through the hole that they're planning to drill, because that hole is only going to bear out 35 inches in diameter.
And so in the coming weeks and months, doctors have really got to keep an eye on those nine to make sure that they're slim enough to get out through the hole. Already, though, they may have lost about 16 pounds, according to medical prognosis, but they've got to lose somewhat more so they can fit out through that hole once it's drilled and come back to the surface, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: OK. Karl, we wish them the very best. Thank you, Karl.
Imagine having to walk two miles in the heat and humidity to buy groceries. Well, five years after Hurricane Katrina, in devastated New Orleans, the city has made extraordinary progress towards recovery, but in some neighborhoods, fresh food is still tough to find. CNN's David Mattingly has been looking into that aspect of it -- David.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, this is a city that is known for its food, and yet now five years after Hurricane Katrina, some entire neighborhoods are finding that food harder to reach.
MATTINGLY: How high did the water get here?
JENGA MWENDO, LOWER NINTH WARD RESIDENT: The water got about three feet into the house.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Years of rebuilding after the Katrina floods, you'd never know Jenga Mwendo's house had been full of water, but just look across the street.
(on camera): And the entire time, you've been looking at these vacant houses, these overgrown lots?
MATTINGLY (voice-over): And neighbors aren't the only thing missing. Five years later, Katrina still hits home in the Lower Ninth Ward at every meal.
MWENDO: There's corner stores. There's places that sell alcohol. There isn't any food.
MATTINGLY (on camera): The people are coming back, but the supermarkets aren't?
MATTINGLY: And what does that mean for the people who live here?
MWENDO: We have horrible food access.
MATTINGLY: Policy makers call it a food desert, as recovering flood victims find food harder and more costly to get to. One national report already ranks New Orleans among the worst in the country with 22 percent of families lacking the money to buy the food they need.
Diego Rose of Tulane University says it gets worse when you consider that many in poorer neighborhoods don't have cars.
DIEGO ROSE, TULANE UNIVERSITY: Whatever you and I might pay for fresh produce in a supermarket that we have easy access to, a person out here is going to have to add on another percentage, 10, 20, 30 percent of their grocery Bill just to get there.
MATTINGLY: And if you think that going by foot from the Lower Ninth Ward is a good option, just watch.
(on camera): I'm going to start walking. As they say in New Orleans, it's time to make some groceries.
(voice-over): When distance is an issue, it's easy to see why less nutritious choices at corner stores are attractive.
(on camera): OK. That was a hot and steamy walk. It only took around 30 minutes, but here's the surprise. This isn't my destination. It used to be a 30-minute walk to the supermarket that was close to the Ninth Ward. That was before Katrina. Well, take a look at this. It's closed. This supermarket didn't reopen after the floods. There's a new one that's been built since then. It's a little further down the road, so that means just a little more walking.
(voice-over): In all, a little over 40 minutes, and a pound of perspiration to cover two miles.
(on camera): Now, this is the new supermarket. It was built after Katrina. And if this had been a shopping trip for me, I'd now go in, buy only the groceries I could carry, and then carry them all the way back home.
The point here is, making groceries in the Lower Ninth Ward has never been tougher.
(voice-over): Officials are offering tax incentives to lure green grocers back into the neighborhoods while Jenga Mwendo and others are trying to fill the void by expanding community gardens. It's an almost unbelievable irony: food that's hard to get in a city known for its food.
MATTINGLY: And one of the long-term problems that they're looking at here is that, if this continues there could be nutritional problems and long-term health effects; entire communities that aren't as healthy as they could be if they had better access to food -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: David, thank you for bringing that to our attention, David.
He is the surprise winner in the costliest primary battle in Florida history. So how much of his fortune is Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott willing to spend in the general election?
Plus, surveillance videos show thieves taking a 400-year-old gold bar from a museum, but they may have made one major mistake.
MALVEAUX: The winner of Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary, Rick Scott, is a billionaire who spent tens of millions of dollars on his campaign. He spoke with CNN's John King today. I want you to take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: How much more are you willing to spend in the general election 69 days from now to election day. You're in one of the most competitive governor's races in one of the biggest and diverse and sometimes most expensive states politically in the country. How much is Rick Scott willing to spend?
RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know what it will take, but I'll make sure I raise the money to get our message out, and our message will continue to be I'm going to be the jobs governor. I'm going to be the guy that I have a detailed plan: seven steps to 700,000 jobs over seven years. And I'm going to get the Florida economy moving again.
KING: I don't want to dwell on this. You say you'll raise the money, but do you have a personal limit of how much more of your own money you're willing to spend?
SCOTT: No, I don't. I don't. I'm very comfortable. I have a lot of support all across the state. And we'll raise the money and make sure that we are able to get our message out. It got out very well in this -- in the primary campaign and we'll get out very well in the general.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: John King joins me now, and John, I wish he'd answered that question. He dodged that one. Like how much is he willing to spend here? Obviously, it was a surprise in some ways, because he spends a lot of his own money. But he had a lot of baggage, too, going into the race. How far do you think his own fortune is going to take him?
KING: Well, he spent about $50 million in the primary. His aides say their general answer is whatever it takes. But he has not drawn a number on a piece of paper and said that's the limit, boys and girls. That's as high as we're going to spend.
And you mentioned the baggage. He will be attacked for his business record. He was the head of the health-care company that paid a record $1.7 billion fine to the federal government for fraud. He recently gave a deposition in a case involving his current business. He refuses to make that public, saying it's a private matter. So his record will come under tough criticism from the Democratic and the independent candidate in that race. And so part of his strategy is to say this isn't about me. It's about jobs and spending a lot of money on TV ads.
MALVEAUX: TV ads, obviously, attacking his opponents. Do we see any kind of "Kumbaya" happening? I didn't see that last night, when he won and the defeat?
KING: No marshmallow roast scheduled in Florida at the moment, although it is interesting. Bill McCollum, the state attorney general, his opponent, still has not called. Rick Scott made clear in that interview, and you'll see more of it later. He has no plans to call Bill McCollum.
He does say, though, he believes the leadership in the party in the state of Florida, the Republican Party, will essentially come to him. He won the primary. They will rally around him.
One important footnote: the chairman of the Republican Governors' Association, Haley Barbour, the Mississippi governor, he did call Rick Scott today. Last night the RGA issued a very terse statement saying, "I guess he's the winner. We'll move forward." Haley Barbour called today. He promised his help. Consider Haley Barbour here the elder statesman of the party, saying this might not be the candidate we wanted, but it's the candidate we got. It's a very important state. Let's try to put this all behind us.
MALVEAUX: How significant is that, that Haley Barbour actually reached out and has endorsed him to a certain extent? Will the other follow suit?
KING: Very -- it's a signal to former governor Jeb Bush in Florida, to Bill McCollum and all the other Republicans in Florida, eat your peas, swallow your pride, grow up. He's our nominee. This is a pivotal state. We need to win this election. We can't let bad blood stop us.
So that's a very important signal, diplomacy from Haley Barbour. A big question will be does the Republican Governors' Association actually send him any real money, or do they say, "You've got plenty of your own. Spend it"?
MALVEAUX: Limitless amount, apparently. All right. Thanks again, John. We'll be watching.
A gold bar disappears from a museum display case, and police are still baffled.
And imagine getting a text message that your house is being robbed and then watching it happen on your smart phone? For one man, that scenario is all too real. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
MALVEAUX: Caught on tape, the theft of a historic gold bar from a Florida museum, but as CNN's John Zarrella reports the robbers may have made just one major mistake.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bulletproof glass case sits empty. For more than two decades until last Wednesday, it housed this gold bar. Visitors to the Mel Fisher Museum in key west could touch it, lift it, but you could not remove it, at least that is what everyone thought.
MELISSA KENDRICK, MEL FISHER MARITIME MUSEUM: After your first five and you're next ten and when you get to 25 years, you know, you start to get to the point where you think, that this is never going to happen.
ZARRELLA: It did. The surveillance video is remarkably clear.
One of two thieves approaches the case, does something then walks away. While the security guard is out of the room, he comes back, removes the bar, sticks it in his pocket and walks out.
(on camera): Authorities think that the thieves may have been targeting this gold chain, but couldn't get the case off, so they came over here. Now this is 3/8-inch bulletproof Lexan glass, but somehow the thief was able to literally snap the glass here at the weak points. (voice-over): In 1980, while searching for the wreck of the Spanish galleon Atroecha (ph), Mel Fisher and his team of treasure hunters found the Santa Margarita. Both ships had gone down in a hurricane off Key West in 1622. The bar is one of dozens the divers found.
(on camera): Pretty frustrating that you haven't had the kind of leads that you would have.
CHIEF DONIE LEE, KEW WEST, FLORIDA POLICE: No, I thought by now we'd have this one solved.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Even with the video and fingerprints, Key West Police Chief Donie Lee says they have got very little concrete.
LEE: This is going to end up in somebody's house used as a paperweight, you know, other than melting it down which is the worst case scenario for everyone.
ZARRELLA: Experts in the recovery of art and artifacts say the thieves likely made a huge mistake, the market is small for high profile items with distinguishing markings.
Robert Wittman, head of the FBI's Art Crime Team, wrote the book "Priceless."
ROBERT WITTMAN, FORMER FBI ART CRIME TEAM: We recovered paintings and artifacts that had been missing for many years -- 10, 12, 15, sometimes 20 years. And it's because the thieves never could not get rid of them. They basically kept them in the closets, they were white elephants, they made no money out of the deals. They just -- they were stuck.
ZARRELLA: Experts say that if these thieves had any brains, the smart thing to do, return the gold they fingered.
John Zarrella, CNN, Key West, Florida.
MALVEAUX: Kate Bolduan is monitoring other top stories that are coming into THE SITUATION ROOM.
Hey, Kate. What are you working on?
BOLDUAN: Hey there, Suzanne.
Wal-Mart is asking the Supreme Court to end a 9-year-old class action discrimination lawsuit. The company is appealing an April ruling by the Ninth Circuit allowing the case to proceed. This case covers more than 1 million women who worked for Wal-Mart and alleges the company paid them less than men and discouraged promotions into management.
California health officials think they have traced the earliest cases of salmonella from the outbreak that has led to the recall of more than half a billion eggs. More than 30 people who at the attended a prom and graduation party in Santa Clara County in late May got sick and some were hospitalized. Investigators later determined they all at a custard made with the tainted eggs.
And this picture of accused killed Joran van der Sloot has Peruvian prison workers in trouble. They are facing disciplinary action for photographing him with two other accused killers and an unidentified fourth man. Van der Sloot and one of the other men are to be in isolation, clearly not in that picture. The 22-year-old Dutch citizen is accused of killing a Peruvian woman and he's a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Thank you, Kate.
Jack Cafferty is next with our e-mail, and his question this hour -- Is too much technology a bad thing?
Well, this man would probably say no. His iPhone showed him burglars breaking into his house 1,500 miles away.
MALVEAUX: Time now to check back in with Jack Cafferty.
CAFFERTY: The question is, Suzanne -- Is too much technology a bad thing?
Emerson in Los Angeles, "I believe too much technology is not necessarily a bad thing, but how people use it can be. People at work look at me funny when I come knocking on their cubical rather than sending an e-mail. They get mad when I don't answer my cell phone at any given moment. People wonder why I don't constantly update where I am in my apartment or what I'm doing with the cat or what color laundry I'm folding at the moment."
Joe writes, "The technology explosion has accelerated greatly in the past 100 years. It has created a new environment to which we have not fully assimilated. However, your question is irrelevant. " Joe says, "We don't have a choice of more or less technology. The future will bring more. The challenge is to utilize it constructively for the benefit of all."
Paul writes, "It sure can be. We all cry out for jobs, jobs, jobs, then go download a digital book from an online seller. We're so quick to embrace new things as progress, but do we think how acts like that contribute to killing entire industries and the jobs that go with them and replace them with only a fraction of the people in return? Businesses love technology, it helps their bottom lines. That in and of itself ought to make us all stop and think."
Dennis in Minneapolis says, "Depends on what angle you're talking about. Too much quantity is bad. Too much TV, computer games, sitting around, that's bad. The level of sophistication is another matter. Technology always benefits us the more advanced it becomes."
Renee says, "Just ask some texting kids to explain the phrase 'Stop and smell the roses.' When they ask you what website or app that's on, you'll have your answer."
Bill in Atlanta, "The issue's not technology. The issue is mindless, inane, silly, goofy banter. But enough about cable news programs."
CAFFERTY: And Mario writes, "Speaking of someone who has been a systems architect for more than 25 years and close now to retirement, I can say this: I plan to use my desktop computer as an anchor for my boat. I will take the heaviest hammer I own and smash my cell phone to bits. And I will get rid of cable and high speed internet and spend the rest of my life reading books -- yes, real books -- tying flies, which is my passion, and taking a nap on my recliner after lunch. "
If you want to read more about this, you'll find it on my blog, CNN.com/CaffertyFile. And I will see you tomorrow.
MALVEAUX: Yes, I don't mind this technology TV, but I'd rather see you in person, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Come on up to the Big Apple. I'll buy you a tuna fish sandwich and a glass of milk.
MALVEAUX: All right. Well, stay away from the eggs. Good deal. Thank you, Jack.
CAFFERTY: See you later.
MALVEAUX: A smartphone helps a man outsmart the burglars trying to rob his house. We're going to show you the app that alerted him 1,500 miles away.
And coming up on "JOHN KING, USA," primary surprises -- the winners, the losers and one major race that is still undecided. John King has it all beginning at the top of the hour.
MALVEAUX: It was hardly your typical text. A Texas man received a message on his phone informing him that his house was being robbed and he was able to watch it unfold from the other side of the country.
Our affiliate WFAA in Dallas has the story.
VINCE HUNTER, BURGLARY VICTIM: Oh, this is the guy, went like this to look inside the house.
JASON WHITELY, WFAA REPORTER: Vince Hunter considers himself tech savvy.
HUNTER: And then so we just checked on our phone, and I've got a few webcams set up here. And we could see it kind of unfolding as the guys were leaving.
WHITELY: But never realized the newest app on his iPhone would thwart a burglary while he was out of town.
HUNTER: Fifteen hundred miles away, live footage to our phones of guys breaking into our house.
WHITELY: The technology is amazing --
HUNTER: They had just got done robbing the house.
WHITELY: -- it sent him a text message Friday afternoon, alerting him of movement inside his house as two men wearing gloves peeked through the patio door then started throwing a brick at the glass.
HUNTER: This is where it hit right here. We watched them throw it three times.
WHITELY: Vince Hunter was in Connecticut visiting his parents, watching helplessly as it all unfolded on his mobile phone.
HUNTER: The fourth time they decided to wind up and really let it rip and it just -- it just went right through. And this here brick was sitting in the middle of our living room floor.
WHITELY: It's called the iCam, a 4.99 app.
HUNTER: The software broadcasts sound.
WHITELY: The Hunters called 911 from Connecticut as their home security system did the same in Dallas. Minutes later, police with guns drawn stepped inside.
WHITELY: These suspects appeared semiprofessional, they wore gloves, left no prints and few clues for Dallas police other than hoping that all the publicity surrounding this iPhone app video might compel one of them to start talking.
Back to you, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Remember, you can follow what's going on in THE SITUATION ROOM. I'm on Twitter, you can get my tweets at twitter.com/suzannemalveaux.
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I'm Suzanne Malveaux in THE SITUATION ROOM. "JOHN KING, USA" starts right now. KING: Thanks, Suzanne.